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Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

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An apprentice witch, three kids and a cynical magician conman search for the missing component to a magic spell to be used in the defense of Britain in WWII.

Director:

Robert Stevenson

Writers:

Ralph Wright (animation story), Ted Berman (animation story) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
4,475 ( 10)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Miss Price
David Tomlinson ... Emelius
Roddy McDowall ... Mr. Jelk
Sam Jaffe ... Bookman
John Ericson ... Col. Heller
Bruce Forsyth ... Swinburne
Cindy O'Callaghan Cindy O'Callaghan ... Carrie
Roy Snart Roy Snart ... Paul
Ian Weighill ... Charlie
Tessie O'Shea Tessie O'Shea ... Mrs. Hobday
Arthur Gould-Porter Arthur Gould-Porter ... Capt. Greer (as Arthur E. Gould-Porter)
Ben Wrigley Ben Wrigley ... Portobello Rd. Workman
Reginald Owen ... Gen. Teagler
Cyril Delevanti ... Elderly Farmer
Rick Traeger Rick Traeger ... German Sergeant
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Storyline

During WWII in England, Charlie, Carrie, and Paul Rawlins are sent to live with Eglantine Price, who it turns out is an apprentice witch. Charlie blackmails Miss Price that if he is to keep her practices a secret, she must give him something, so she takes a bed knob from her late father's bed and places the "famous magic traveling spell" on it, and only Paul can activate it. Their first journey is to a street in London where they meet Emelius Browne, former headmaster of Miss Price's witchcraft training correspondence school. Miss Price tells him of a plan to find the magic words for a spell known as Substitutiary Locomotion, which brings inanimate objects to life. This spell will be her work for the war effort. Written by Matthew Anscher <anscher@radonc.duke.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll beWITCHED! You'll beDAZZLED! You'll be swept into a world of enchantment BEYOND ANYTHING BEFORE! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

13 December 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bedknobs and Broomsticks: 25th Anniversary Special Edition See more »

Filming Locations:

Dorset, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$18,530,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1996) (restored) | (re-release) (1980) | (initial US release) (November 1971)

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (RCA Sound Recording) (5.0) (L-R)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening credits sequence is an homage to the Bayeux Tapestry, a seamless linen cloth made in France during medieval times that tells the story of the Norman conquest of England. See more »

Goofs

At the Portobello Road market, Miss Price searches for the missing second half of Astoroth's book, by checking all of the *intact* volumes on each stall. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Captain Ainsley Greer: You there, which way to Pepperinge Eye?
Elderly Farmer: Couldn't say, sir. It said on the wireless to paint out the sign posts in case the Nazis drop in.
Captain Ainsley Greer: I'm not a Nazi, I'm a British officer!
Elderly Farmer: That's what you'd say if you *was* a Nazi, isn't it sir?
See more »

Crazy Credits

King Leonidas is referred to on-screen by name, by is only credited as "Lion." See more »

Alternate Versions

In some versions of the film shown on TV in the UK, a scene was cut between the main characters return from the animated island and the first use of the substitutiary locomotion spell, which shows the medallion they stole from the King disappearing, and then them realizing they could still get the complete spell from the young boy's comic book, in which a picture of the medallion is printed. This cut makes it appear as though they still have the medallion, and were able to get the complete spell from it. See more »


Soundtracks

The Age of Not Believing
(uncredited)
Performed by Angela Lansbury
Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant family entertainment!
17 September 2006 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

Set during WWII, Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a fun-filled fantasy adventure for kids, starring Angela Lansbury as an apprentice witch who, with the help of three evacuee children and a 'Professor of Witchcraft', thwarts a Nazi invasion.

Brilliantly inventive, with loads of laughs, this movie will delight kids of all ages with its great characters, exciting story and catchy tunes. Lansbury is perfect as Eglantine, the not-quite-perfect witch who takes the three children on the adventure of a lifetime, and her three young co-stars (Cindy O'Callaghan, Roy Snart and Ian Weighill) are equally impressive as the Cockney rascals who aid in battling the nasty Hun.

The special effects are somewhat dated, but let's face it, kids don't care too much about these things, so long as they are entertained. And entertained, they will be. With some impressive scenes which brilliantly mix live action and animation to great effect, and more genuine movie magic than a hundred Harry Potters, it would be hard not to enjoy this wonderful slice of cinematic escapism. In fact, only a rather drawn-out musical number set in Portobello Road mars the film's perfection, but with so much else to enjoy, that can easily be forgiven.

And besides, any film featuring UK television legend Bruce Forsyth as a 'Flash' Harry style spiv is guaranteed a good rating from me.


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